Adams & Garth Blog

5 Tips for Becoming More Assertive at Work

October 4th, 2011

As Lynchburg recruiters, we know that too often employees think that being assertive involves getting angry and aggressive, or stepping on other people to get ahead.

But being assertive is not about hurting people’s feelings, or getting upset. It’s really about standing up for yourself, while still being respectful to others. It’s also about being direct and upfront, not trying to manipulate situations for your own benefit.

And, as Lynchburg recruiters, we also know that being assertive in the workplace can deliver a host of benefits, including the ability to communicate your thoughts and feelings without hurting others. This will improve your workplace confidence, as well as your ability to collaborate with others. It will also help you feel more in control and reduce stress at work.

To reap these benefits, here are 5 tips that can help you become more assertive while on-the-job:

1. Evaluate yourself.

In which specific areas would you like to improve? For instance, do you have a hard time making eye contact, or do you keep quiet even when you have an opinion? Perhaps you don’t ask questions, out of fear of appearing dumb, or you are constantly apologizing even when there’s no need. Whatever the case may be for you, once you find the specific areas you’d like to focus on, you can then begin to make positive changes.

2. Observe others.

Think of people that you know who display the kinds of traits and behaviors you want to exhibit. Pay attention to how they do it. You can learn a lot by watching other people who are assertive, but not mean-spirited.

3. Speak up.

Voicing your opinion can be difficult for someone not naturally assertive. But to be successful at work, it’s an absolute must. Otherwise, you’ll simply bottle up your frustrations until they eventually boil over. When you do speak up, don’t get emotional; just stick to the facts instead and get your point across in a calm and polite manner.

4. Learn to say “no.”

Saying “no” can be especially tough if you’re accustomed to always saying “yes.” But in order to avoid burnout and to achieve your career goals, it’s a must. Click here for tips on how to say “no” without creating hard feelings.

5. Be a good listener.

No one will want to listen to you if you don’t listen to what they have to say in return. So don’t tune other people out when they are talking. Being a good listener will help you build a relationship of respect and understanding with your co-workers.

 

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